Monday, July 25, 2016

Moving on... An open letter to the new owners of our former home

I sat at this island on my wedding day as one of my best friends did my make up. 

Then I walked up those stairs to my bedroom, where my Mom helped me into the wedding dress that she wore - and that my grandmother sewed - 35 years earlier when she married my Dad. 

Then we walked out that front door as our neighbour stood by giddily to tell me that I was a beautiful bride, and to wish me luck on my wedding day. 

This house - and this neighborhood - have been at the centre of my life for the past 12 years. And if walls could talk, they would tell you stories. 

They would tell you that this very house saved our relationship. Before finding it, my husband and I were living in a tiny 1-bedroom apartment - MY apartment that he moved into. We were driving each other crazy. I'm not sure we would have lasted very much longer without divine intervention in the form of real estate. 

They would tell you that it is a bad idea to build a deck together. That day, we fought and fought and fought and fought and then fought some more. I was so mad that I didn't talk to my husband for the entire length of the deck building process. But 12 years later, that deck is still standing. And so are we. (It is also a great place to catch a few rays with a friend).

The walls would tell you that there ain't no party like a kitchen party. Countless gatherings have been had in this kitchen, at this island. 11 New Years Day Levees, Friday night tapas parties, casual potlucks, formal family dinners, birthday parties, and even the occasional dance party. Always we congregate in the kitchen. It's a good thing we tore down the hideous wall that was there before. 

These walls would tell you about how we grew our family. How we adopted one outrageously neurotic dog named Fergus, who barks at and herds all the neighborhood kids. And one fiercely independent and bossy cat, Sadie, who spends her days plotting how to catch every squirrel that dares to run through her yard. Within these walls, these two rescues became the very best of friends, and found their "forever homes".

These walls would tell you how much we love this neighborhood. How it has everything we need. Coffee shops, restaurants (you must, must, must try DiVino Wine Studio, and tell them we sent you), access to the Ottawa River, the canal and the Arboretum for running and snowshoeing, a yoga studio to recuperate from running. And it's only the shortest of walks to the neighboring 'hood of Hintonburg, where I get my nails done (look for Forbes Beauty Company on Fairmont) and where I get the best almond milk latte in town (Ministry of Coffee on Wellington). In the other direction, Parliament Hill is only a 25 minute walk. But on Canada Day, you don't even need to walk that far to have a perfect view of the fireworks. Just walk up to Lebreton Flats. It's one of the best views in town. 

Most of all, these walls would tell you about love. Because they were filled to brimming with love. This is where Hubby and I truly started our life adventure together. Every trip we've ever taken has been planned from a spot on the couch in front of that fireplace. Every life decision - from whether or not to take a new job to when to get a dog to when to get married - has been debated in this space. We have laughed here. We have cried here. We have fought and made up here. We made a life for ourselves here. It is where we truly became life partners. 

These walls provided the perfect setting for a pair of eager young professionals starting out in life. Leaving them behind is not easy. We love this house. It is a part of us forever. 

And now, we hope, that it will forever be a part of you. That you will love this house as much as we did. That you will put your stamp on it and make it your very own. That you will grow together here as partners. And that these walls will continue to have good stories to tell. 

Congratulations, and we wish you all the best.